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Centertown ballot measure would add use tax, fund parks

by Alex Naughton | March 18, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

Centertown residents will decide whether to implement a 1 percent use tax on April 4.

Centertown voters will see Proposition P on their ballots. Centertown Board of Trustees Chairman Adam Brown said the measure would create a use tax to match the town's already existing 1 percent sales tax.

A use tax, Brown said, applies sales tax to out-of-state purchases made online. For example, if you purchased some clothing from a seller in Oregon, which does not have any sales tax, a 1 percent tax would be applied to the sale to match Centertown's sales tax.

Brown said the use tax would not create any work or burden for consumers, as the sellers have to report the sale to the Missouri Department of Revenue. Brown said the tax would be applied based on the consumer's delivery address.

Missouri currently has a 4.225 percent use tax and Cole County has a 5.6 percent use tax, for a combined 9.625 percent tax on out-of-state online purchases. If passed, Proposition P would bring that to 10.625 percent for Centertown residents.

Brown said a common misconception about use tax is that it's added on to sales tax. This is not the case, Brown said, rather, it is filling in when normal sales tax doesn't apply.

The revenue generated by the tax would be used to fund park development. A couple of years ago, he said, a community plan revealed parks and walking trails were a priority for Centertown residents.

Brown said there are many grants that would help with building parks and trails for the town, but they typically require a local match. The use tax is expected to bring in $4,000 to $5,000 annually, he said, which could be used to help match those grants and develop the parks.

He said walking trails, playgrounds, basketball courts and pavilions were all on the table for potential projects.

Additionally, Brown said, Centertown had already acquired two pieces of land that would be used for building the parks.

"As we start working on these, we definitely need people from the community becoming part of the park board to help guide us on what the community wants," Brown said. "With it being on the ballot, we're also definitely looking for people to step up and help us create our area for the community they want."

Brown said he hopes the community will support the measure on Election Day.

Print Headline: Centertown ballot measure would add use tax, fund parks


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